Sunderland pensioner stabbed wife ten times in row over 'pornographic' magazine mistake

General shot of Westheath Avenue.

General shot of Westheath Avenue.

A pensioner who stabbed his wife ten times when a row over a magazine erupted in violence has been put behind bars.

Jean Crosby wrongly accused her husband Laurence Crosby of having a pornographic publication when she found his Sunday newspaper supplement, which featured a woman wearing a bikini, and called him a "dirty old man".

Newcastle Crown Court heard Crosby, who had had five pints at the pub before the violence erupted last May 23, picked up two knives from the kitchen and inflicted stab wounds to his wife's face, neck, body, leg and arms as she sat in her chair.

When the 66-year-old attacker realised his wife of almost 50 years was on the verge of dying, Crosby called an ambulance and then cut his own wrists.

Both of Mrs Crosby's lungs were punctured in the attack, which she survived because of the prompt arrival of paramedics.

Mrs Crosby, 64, who had been plagued with mental health problems through most of their marriage, told detectives in her victim impact statement she felt herself "dying" at the hands of her husband.

She said: "I knew when he stabbed me I was dying, I could feel myself feeling sleepy. I get terrible nightmares, I wake up with a start, seeing his face close to mine in my nightmares.

"It never goes away. I feel betrayed by Laurence Crosby, why did it come to this? Why he stabbed me so many times, I want to know why, why did he do it?

"I am going to put in for a divorce as soon as he gets put away. I don't want to hear from him, don't want to see him."

Crosby, of Westheath Avenue, Sunderland, admitted wounding with intent and was jailed for seven years.

Judge Robin Mairs said this was a "deeply unhappy" case and accepted the couple's marriage had been blighted by Mrs Crosby making fake allegations against her husband and periods of instability because of her illness.

The judge said: "An argument erupted over a magazine. It flared on both sides.

"You armed yourself with a knife, you stabbed her repeatedly to the head, the neck, the body and legs. You stabbed her with sufficient ferocity to punctured both her lungs.

"She was slumped in an armchair and offerend neither resistance or violence.

"Only the prompt arrival of the paramedics saved Mrs Crosby's life. It was a potentially fatal weapon used in a potentially fatal way."

The judge said Mrs Crosby's past behaviour, as well as her accusations on that day did not justify the level of violence used against her that day.

Dafyyd Enoch QC, defending, said Crosby has lived with his wife making a catalogue of false allegations against him in the past and that the magazine row that day was no different.

Mr Enoch said: "The 'porn' magazine was a Sunday supplement.

"There was a picture of someone wearing a bikini or something."

Mr Enoch said, despite a history of unhappiness and accusations during their relationship, Crosby, who remembers little about the attack remains devoted to his wife and wants her back.

He said; "The truly sad fact is, all he wants is his wife back. It is all he can think about."